Victim playing occurs when you try to make yourself look like a victim, perhaps to gain sympathy, avoid hard work, manipulate others or protect your self-esteem. Usually you do this by exaggerating a mild obstacle or by faking an obstacle altogether.
There's huge support for sentiments like "life is hard" and "adulting is hard" because it's easier to play a victim than to do something about the problem. It's easier to say "I'd love to catch up but I'm sooo busy with work" than to arrange your matters in a way that you'd have time to meet.
It seems the pressure to succeed is so strong that some people secretly hope for a health issue or injustice to explain why they aren't meeting those unrealistic expectations. In absence of a "better" reason, they'll procrastinate so at least they'll be a victim of time - they couldn't have possibly succeeded, not with that schedule.
Victim playing is, in many ways, the default option because very few people call you out on it. You're the "victim" after all, not many people dare question that, lest they want to be seen as a victim-blamer. Thus, this victim mentality (1) becomes more engraved in a person, because it is a strategy that consistently works, and (2) becomes more accepted in society, infecting more people, because you can't call people out on it. Beware the lure of victim mentality.